Friday, 9 September 2011

Match Preview: Manchester City vs Wigan Athletic

Competition: Premier League
Time: 3pm GMT
Venue: The Etihad Stadium
After an absolutely emphatic performance at White Hart Lane two weeks ago, City come into this game as very strong favourites. 12 goals in 3
games has meant the press are starting to move away from the defensive mentality myth and realising we just needed some top class attacking players to compliment the likes of David Silva and Carlos Tevez. Of course, with our first ever Champions League game on the horizon, it is likely that many of the team that featured against Tottenham will be rested for the Napoli game. This could give Roberto Martinez’s team some sort of hope, even if our second side is just as strong. New signing Albert Crusat, along with Victor Moses, could prove vital to Wigan making that step up from relegation fodder to a mid table side, but they really won’t be expecting to go back to the DW Stadium with much from this game. Here is a short clip of how our last meeting was decided, albeit in embarrassing circumstances for Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi:

Also, please may I take this opportunity to welcome Jack Davies to the team, who is just as enthusiastic when it comes to Manchester City.

The Sky Blue View:

Key Player?

Archie: I chose him last match, and I will choose him again. Edin Dzeko will be our key man, he'll be high on confidence especially after his 5 goals at White Hart Lane. Every time I've chosen a key man, he has got man of the match and scored at least 1, so let's hope Edin impresses again!

Aaron: With a potentially weakened side, it is very difficult to choose key player. Perhaps either Carlos Tevez or Mario Balotelli could try and impress to win a place in the first 11 if they get chosen tomorrow.

Predicted City lineup?
Archie:                 Hart
      Zabaleta Kompany  Lescott   Clichy
                Yaya Toure   Barry
            Aguero     Silva        Milner

Aaron:                     Hart
       Zabaleta  Kompany  Lescott   Clichy
                 Yaya Toure     Barry
             Johnson      Tevez      Aguero

Danger man: Victor Moses
Most dangerous Wigan player?

Archie: Victor Moses, he has a lot of pace and could find holes in our defence.

Aaron: Either Victor Moses or Franco di Santo. Moses is starting to step up to the plate, albeit against recently promoted sides, this season so his pace could cause trouble for our full backs.


Archie: 4 or 5-0, with the quality available to us I think we will batter Wigan at home. The Etihad Stadium will really be a hard place to come to, and every team in the league (including the rags) will be afraid of coming, and I really hope this is how it will be.

Aaron: Wigan will put up a fight, no doubt about it, but I think our attack will be too strong for them. 4-0 to City.

“and in the other corner...”
This week, we asked Wigan Atheltic fan Rob to answer some questions about Wigan and their chances tomorrow. Rob is known as The Pon on Wigan fan site ThisNorthernSoul and is a big Latics fan. (

TSBV: Hi Rob, thanks for taking the time out to talk to us. Firstly, I think it would be good to remind readers that this is your 7th consecutive season in the Premier League. For a town which is regularly referred to as a ‘rugby town’, how proud are you of this achievement as a Latics fan?
Rob: Well, it’s fantastic to be in the Premier League. I think the ‘rugby town’ thing is a bit of a myth though. We’ve always had more football fans in the town, but as were smack bang in the middle of Liverpool and Manchester, we’re a town full of ‘immigrants’ from Manchester and Liverpool so a lot of people stuck to their roots and went off to watch those clubs. Once Latics made the Premier League lots of people in the town realised there’s a great local club and started coming... 7 years on we’ve got a very committed (if small by PL terms) following. I only hope that if the worst happens and we go down, we can keep most of them. It’s great that we’re pretty much matching the egg chasers for crowds; I think we’re growing and they’re shrinking as well. Only right, Rugby League is a crap game.

TSBV: What are your views on your manager? We at TSBV think he’s a great coach and a great person, but with clubs like Villa sniffing around during the summer, do you think he will stay at the club?
Rob: He’s a club legend on the pitch... Off the pitch, as a manager, I’m a massive fan of what he’s done for us. The attractive football we’re playing now looks like what you’d expect from a Premier League team; it’s taken some time to come together, but whilst the season is young, we look incisive and dangerous so far. Some fans aren’t keen though; the short passing and patient build up are a culture shock to a lot of fans who’ve watched our lads play more direct football for decades.

TSBV: Do you hope to fully establish yourselves as a Premier League club instead of flirting with relegation this season?
Rob: I sincerely hope so. Losing N’Zogbia could be seen as a setback, but he’s our only major departure, and a settled team can only be a good thing. The lads look like they’ve bonded well, and I think we could be in for a fantastic season of mid table obscurity!

TSBV: Last season saw Martinez bring in Tom Cleverly on loan from our rivals in Stretford, and he is now getting regular appearances for them. Do you think this is the way forward for sides like yourself?
Rob: For a small club like ours, who can’t afford big transfer fees and pay huge wages, it’s a great way to benefit from some really talented young players. The stable squad I mentioned can’t be built around them, but as long as we have a strong core of our own players, some young talent adds a different dimension to our squad, definitely.

TSBV: What do you make of your transfers this season? Who excites you the most?
Rob: Ali Al Habsi was absolutely vital. Kirkland is so injury prone, he was becoming a liability as first choice. Ali is a real quality goalkeeper and he’ll doubtless be key to us getting points on the board. Attacking wise, Albert Crusat is a lightning quick winger signed from Almeria in La Liga. Hopefully some real pace and flair will make us even more exciting (and unpredictable!) to watch.

TSBV: Now onto the match... Who will have to play at their full potential if you are to get a result on Saturday afternoon?
Rob: Everyone, plain and simple. In terms of quality, your squad eclipses us, so every single player will have to really turn it on if we’re going to get anything from the game.

TSBV: Predicted Wigan lineup?
Rob:                  Al-Habsi
       Boyce  Caldwell    Lopez    Figueroa
            Diame     Watson    Gomez
           Moses     di Santo   Rodallega

'Merlin' and Kun are our
danger men

TSBV: Biggest threat in City’s side?
Rob: Where to start?? Silva and Aguero are my choices, but there’s a hell of a lot of potential major threats to choose from. Silva is absolutely brilliant, he seems to be able to make something happen every time the ball comes to him whilst Aguero looks like a complete player to me. He has everything, and will be almost impossible to contain.

TSBV: Prediction for the game?
Rob: My heart says you're still a little suspect at the back, and we can nick a 2-2 draw, with some real pace in our side, we may nick a couple on the break, especially if your side are over confident and push too many forward. As the cliché goes, "it’s a funny old game!" Even my heart doesn't think we'll be able to stop you scoring if you put out your best side. I’m sort of hoping Mancini gets cocky and, not wanting to risk the biggest stars before your European game, puts out a weak side (probably still worth more than £100m!).
My head says we're going to get a spanking to be honest. The sheer gulf in out-and-out class may well be too much for us. If we only lose 3-1 (I do reckon we'll score one!), it'll be a respectable scoreline for us, since you did Spurs 5-1 at their own place last time out. Either way, I like the blue half of Manchester, basically because you're not the reds. I don't think any Wigan fan could begrudge you the win, given the quality available to you.
Overall, good luck for the season (except this weekend): Would be awesome to see the red half get their ego trimmed. My prediction is that you've got the quality to do it, and you seem to be playing with self-belief and team spirit this year, which I think you seemed to lack last season. Stick one in Fergie's eye for all of us!

Thanks to Rob for taking the time out, and good luck for the rest of the season, and we at TSBV hope you stay up!

No comments:

Post a Comment